Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young recently announced that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program, USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled nationwide. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec. 31 should visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service located in their local USDA Service Center. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by May 5.
According to NRCS, producers can access the benefits of recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat, and soil health building activities—all while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. Benefits to producers can include:
Improved cattle gains per acre;
Increased crop yields;
Wildlife population improvements; and
Better resilience to weather extremes.
“CSP is for working lands,” said Young. “Thousands of people have made the choice to voluntarily enroll in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation.”
Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/csp or contact their local USDA service center to learn more.